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Wickhamford Soldiers in WWII

The War Memorial plaques in St John the Baptist Church and the Memorial Hall in Wickhamford commemorate four men who died in the Second World War. The stories of these men are presented in the article “Wickhamford Roll of Honour for World War 2”. This article is a photographic record of those who served, together with a brief summary of their service records. For the sake of completeness, the four men who died are covered in this article as well.

We would welcome information on any other men and women from Wickhamford who served in the Armed Forces in the Second World War, to add to this archive (see end of article for later additions).

The story of the Home Guard in Wickhamford is covered in the article “The 4th Worcestershire (Evesham) Battalion Home Guard”.

Second World War Medals

1939-1945 War Medal1939-1945 War Medal

1939-1945 War Medal was awarded to all members of the armed forces with at least 28 days service.

1939–45 Star

The 1939–45 Star was a campaign medal of the British Commonwealth, awarded for service in the Second World War. The medal was awarded for operational service between 3rd September 1939 and 2nd September 1945. To qualify for this medal, members of the Royal Navy had to complete 6 months service in areas of active operations. For the Army, they had to have served 6 months in an operational command. If they were airborne troops, they could qualify by participating in an airborne operation, and had completed 2 months in a fully operational unit. Separate Stars were awarded for service in Africa, Italy, France & Germany, Burma, the Pacific, the Atlantic and for Air Crew Europe.

If the person had been a Prisoner of War then this time counted towards the medal. If an honour, decoration or Mention in Despatches was awarded, then they qualified for this medal, irrespective of the length of service. If a serviceman had been evacuated from areas such as Dunkirk, Norway, Greece etc. then they were eligible to wear the medal. The only qualification criterion was that they had entered into area of operation. For members of the RAF, if they were flying crew, then they had to complete 2 months service in an operational unit. If they were non-aircrew, then they had to complete 6 months service in an operational area.

Those who served their country during 1939-45

Richard Geoffrey Burlingham

Worcestershire Regiment

BURLINGHAM%20Richard.JPGDeputy Assistant Quarter-Master General.

The son of Richard Henry Burlingham of ‘Burlinghams’ in Port Street, Evesham, he was a Captain in 1939.  He was attached to the War Office by 1944 and may not have seen overseas service.  In 1940 he was living at ‘Leasowe’, Manor Road, Wickhamford.

He later became Mayor of Evesham (1960-62) and then Chairman of Evesham Magistrates. 

Eric George Camden

Eric George CamdenWorcestershire Regt, 1st Battalion

Private (5250673), Died 23/2/42 at Tobruk, Western Desert.

1939-45 War Medal; 1939-45 Star.

A son of George William and Nellie Camden.

More information is given about this soldier in the article ‘Wickhamford Roll of Honour for World War II’.

Cecil Walter Cox

Cecil Walter Cox

Worcestershire Regt ?

The son of Frederick and Dorothy Cox, who lived on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

Served in Army Transport and was in France and Germany. His last roll was as a chauffeur to an Army Brigadier.

He worked after the War at L.B.G. in the herb drying section.

Charles Henry Cox

Charles Henry Cox

Grenadier Guards and Army Air Corps

Sergeant (2616154); 1939-45 War Medal; 1939-45 Star.

Served in N. Africa, Italy and at Arnhem.

Wounded at Arnhem and taken prisoner.

PoW at Stalag VIIIC in Lower Silesia and was moved West in Feb. 1945 to avoid the Russian advance (‘The Death March’ of 64 days).

Liberated by American troops in April.

Left the Army in 1946 and returned to the country of his birth, Canada. He was the brother of William Cox (see below).

Reginald Cox

Brother of Cecil Cox. Served in the Army, but details unknown

William George Cox

William George Cox

Royal Air Force

Corporal (630638). Joined before the outbreak of War and served until 1945 as an engine fitter.

He served for most of the War in East Africa, serving mainly around Nairobi, Kenya.

William was a brother of Charles Henry Cox (see above) and the son of George Cox who ran the shop on Pitchers Hill.

Harry Field

Harry Field

Royal Army Ordnance Corps

Lived in the Council Houses on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

Joined in 1940 and served in the Western Desert and Palestine, 1941-1944. Also served in France, Belgium, Holland and Germany, 1944-45.

Leslie Field

Leslie Field

Royal Warwickshire Regt

Lived in the Council Houses on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

Joined the Regular Army in 1930 and, as a reservist, was recalled in September 1939. Served most of the War as a sergeant training recruits at Budbrooke Barracks, Warwickshire.

He saw active service in Italy towards the end of the War.

Joyce Franklin

Joyce Franklin

W. R. A. C.

Sergeant - Women’s Royal Army Corps

The daughter of Gilbert and Rose Franklin, she lived in one of the Council Houses on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

 

John Thomas William (Jack) Haines

John Thomas William (Jack) HainesRoyal Air Force

Corporal – Aircraft mechanic

The son of Norris and Florence Jane Haines, he lived in Manor Road, Wickhamford, and was at one time a professional footballer.

He served at various R.A.F. airfields, including Scampton, Lindholme and Coningsby in Lincolnshire, as a Bomber Command mechanic.

Sidney Frank Halford

Sidney Frank HalfordLived on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

Ron Hampton

Ron HamptonLived on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

G. James H. Lees-Milne

G. James H. Lees-MilneIrish Guards

2nd Lieutenant; 1939-45; War Medal, 1939-45 Star.

Served in UK 1940-41. Invalided out after suffering injury during the Blitz on London.

The elder son of George and Helen Lees-Milne.

Richard C. Lees-Milne

Richard C. Lees-MilneRoyal Army Service Corps

Temporary Captain (91388); 1939-45 War Medal; 1939-45 Star.

Served in Middle East – Western Desert, Sudan, Crete, Syria, Tobruk.

Mentioned in Despatches (Gazette info. 1594; 6/4/1944).

The younger son of George and Helen Lees-Milne, he lived in Weathervane Cottage, Manor Road, Wickhamford after the War.

Clive Loehnis

Clive LoehnisRoyal Navy

Commander – Admiralty Signals Division

He had enrolled in the Royal Navy as a teenager in World War 1 and was a Lieutenant by 1924. He left the service in 1935 but re-enlisted in 1938 in the Admiralty Signals Division. He became a Commander before retiring in 1942 to join the Operational Intelligence Division of the Admiralty.

He was knighted in 1962 and the Director of GCHQ from 1960-1964.

He lived at Hody’s Place, Manor Road, during 1939-1941.

(William) Harry Mason

(William) Harry MasonRoyal Corps of Signals

Lived on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford with his parents, Charles and Annie Mason.

He worked first for Birlinghams in Evesham as a trainee electrician and then went to work for the Rover Company, Tyseley, Birmingham. He returned there after the War.

(Charles) Edgar Southern

(Charles) Edgar SouthernLived in Council Houses, Pitchers Hill, one of nine sons of Charles and Maria Southern. All of the men were in uniform in the War, the older ones in the Home Guard.

Frank Southern

Frank SouthernRoyal Artillery

Gunner (No. 9266070).

A motor mechanic in civilian life, he enlisted on 5 April 1940 and was based at Catterick and Otterburn as a mechanic. He is not thought to have seen overseas service and was demobilised on 17 February 1946.

He was the second youngest son of Charles and Maria Southern.

Howard Philip Southern

Howard Philip SouthernThe youngest son of Charles and Maria Southern.

James Stanley

James StanleyGrenadier Guards

Lived in the Council Houses on Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford.

Alexander De Grey Staveley Hill

Alexander De Grey Staveley HillPioneer Corps

A son of Henry and Rosamond Staveley Hill, he lived at ‘Oxley’, Longdon Hill and was listed as a Lieutenant in 1939. The only other reference found for him is that he resigned his commission on 19th February 1942.

Cecil Sturt

Cecil SturtR.E.M.E. (?) - Tank Corps

Served as a mechanic in Western Desert.

The son of Ernest and Clara Sturt who ran Leystones Garage on Longdon Hill.

John Stephen Styles

John Stephen StylesRoyal Artillery

Gunner (1609111). Died 26/10/42 at El Alamein, Western Desert.

1939-45 War Medal; 1939-45 Star.

More information is given about this soldier in the article ‘Wickhamford Roll of Honour for World War II’.

Peter Sutton

Peter SuttonRoyal Navy & Airborne Division

Served in the Royal Navy and then transferred to the Army to join an Airborne Division. After the end of the War he was involved in the anti-insurgency campaign against the Communists in Malaya.

Born in 1925, the youngest of four sons who reached adulthood of George and Annie Sutton of Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, he was the only one to serve in the forces.

Henry Morton Taylor

Henry Morton TaylorWorcestershire Regt, 1st Battalion

Private (5254532). Died 14/11/42 as a Prisoner of War when a British submarine torpedoed the Italian ship on which he was being transported from N. Africa.

1939-45 War Medal; 1939-45 Star.

More information is given about this soldier in the article ‘Wickhamford Roll of Honour for World War II’.

Albert Webb

Albert WebbRoyal Army Service Corps

Driver. Served in France, Germany and Denmark and ended the War as a chauffeur to a Brigadier.

The second of three brothers who lived at Whitfurrows, Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, a son of Albert and Agnes Webb.

Arthur Webb

Arthur WebbTank Corps

Served in N. Africa, S.Africa and Europe.

The eldest three brothers who lived at Whitfurrows, Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, a son of Albert and Agnes Webb.

He was a tank driver, who served with the Eight Army in N. Africa and landed on the Normandy beaches on D Day+2.

He was awarded six medals including the Africa Star.

Charles William Webb

Charles William WebbRoyal Navy

Served in M.T.B.s in various parts of the World.

The youngest of three brothers who lived at Whitfurrows, Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford, a son of Albert and Agnes Webb.

Harold Webb

A cousin of Arthur, Albert and Charles William Webb who lived with them at Whitfurrows, Pitchers Hill, Wickhamford before the War.

He saw service in Italy.

Stanley Robert Winfield

Stanley Robert WinfieldOxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, 7th Battalion

Private (5381127). Died 8/9/44 at Coriano Ridge, Italy. (At the time of his wedding in 1940 he was a corporal).

1939-45 War Medal; 1939-45 Star.

More information is given about this soldier in the article ‘Wickhamford Roll of Honour for World War II’.

Postscript

It is possible that the number of men and women who joined the regular services during the Second World War is double the number so far described here. We are still missing information and photographs for some of the people mentioned and would welcome all additional facts and pictures. Anything received by way of extra details on those mentioned, or of additional people, will be included in revisions of this article.

One such was found in November 2017 -

Ernest Frederick Orby Gascoigne

Royal Artillery

Gascoigne.jpg

The Gascoinge family lived in Corner Cottage, Manor Road, during the latter part of the War.  Ernest Gascoigne was Commissioned in the Royal Artillery in November 1938.  He served in North Africa and was Mentioned in Despatches in September 1943, when he held the rank of Captain.  He later rose to become a Lt-Colonel.

 

Tom Locke and Val Harman – Article updated November 2017